Sheffield United are interested in re-signing Kieran Dowell from Everton for next season, according to The Sun on Sunday (2/6, page: 59).
Apparently they have already reopened talks with the Toffees about the possibility of getting Dowell. The Blades would prefer a loan deal, but herein lies the problem.
Under Premier League rules, clubs may not loan more than two players at any one time. With United already expected to complete the loan signing of Dean Henderson from Manchester United, landing Dowell as well would fill their quota.
This isn’t an issue in of itself, but it would then limit manager Chris Wilder in other transfer deals. The Sheffield Star reports Wilder is looking to sign five new players this summer.
As well as a goalkeeper and attacking midfielder – roles Henderson and Dowell would fill – he also wants two strikers and a wing-back.
The latter three would all therefore have to be permanent signings. These would need to come out of the £20m budget the Daily Mail reports Wilder is getting.
This is unlike last season, when the 51-year-old relied on having five loanees in his squad. This put less emphasis on the importance and influence of temporary players. If signed, Dowell would need to be a key figure for the Blades.
How good was Dowell at Sheffield United?
The 21-year-old was signed during the January transfer window. Dowell went on to make 17 appearances in all competitions, scoring two goals.
Of those nine were starts, as the England Under-21 international shared the number ten role with Mark Duffy. In truth, Dowell failed to cement a place in Wilder’s starting XI.
However, he is still young and could improve in the future. Whether Dowell is ready for Premier League football as things stand though is debatable.
It could be argued that, if the price were right, it may be better for United to permanently sign a player with potential resale value. Then a loan spot is also kept free for another of the target positions.